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all4qh 07-26-2008 12:48 AM

fat & skinny
Hey everyone, I am new to forums but I joined this one is hopes of getting some ideas. I have two very interesting cases on my hand.
One is a palomino mare, she is very obese, the previous owner says she has looked pregnant for two years now, we know she is not pregnant just very very fat, she was on very lush pasture, sounds not too abnormal - BUT she is SUPER fuzzy, as though she had never lost her winter coat, even though everyday is 30C plus weather, AND the other day i noticed a big lump in her throat... doesnt bother her eating drinking or breathing.
SO...... what do you guys think??? Cushings... Thyroid problem... OR???

My next case is an old mare, I know she is at least 28 and her teeth are in very poor condition. She is always a little on the thin side but not gross. Nothing has changed about her diet (pasture and beetpulp and protein feed), however in the last 2 or so weeks, she has gone from a little down in weight to dropping by the day, when only a few weeks ago her ribs where showing a little.... now every rib is showing, her back bone sticks out about 5 inches and her hips are completely protruding..... what is happening? Is she dying on me????? Like I said, none of her eating or drinking habits have changes and she is still alert and friendly.

Would love some input on these two strange cases...
Thanks a bunch!

kickshaw 07-26-2008 12:57 AM

worming schedules? vaccination records?

how much grain/hay are they each getting?

fever/temp with either?

how are their poops/pees? Water intake?

the first one sounds a lot to me like either cushings or thyroid...i would definitely get that tested...

the second horse i would also have a vet out about. dropping that much weight is definitely not healthy...for her backbone to be protruding 5 inches is significant...and should be seen by a vet.

all4qh 07-26-2008 01:51 AM

worming & vaccination - regular

both horses out on pasture - fat one only gets treats - skinny one getting about 5 lbs beet pulp & 2-3 lbs grain (over course of day - not all at once)

both reg. temps

poop/ pee / water intake - all regular for both

yes, got vet apt - just not an emergency -

kickshaw 07-26-2008 01:55 AM

hmm... i'm not sure what else to suggest, but i'll be very onterested to see what the diagnosis is... keep us posted :)

barefoothooves 07-26-2008 12:26 PM

Check out Cushings disease. has some good info.

Appyt 07-27-2008 12:28 AM


Originally Posted by all4qh
worming & vaccination - regular

both horses out on pasture - fat one only gets treats - skinny one getting about 5 lbs beet pulp & 2-3 lbs grain (over course of day - not all at once)

Skinny one may not be able to actually eat much of the grass due to lack of teeth. That would mean the 5# bp and 2-3 grain is not enough. I would give that one more fiber feed, preferrable soaked alfalfa pellets or cubes 3-4 x a day if possible. Increasing the grain isn't nearly as important as the fiber food. Be sure to have the vet look at her teeth, or lack of. I have a 29 yr old appy and he has few working molars left.. He still does ok on pasture when the grass is up nicely, but started getting ribby last fall on me.. He gets quite a bit of alfalfa pellets and Total Equine soaked a bit to help him chew it. He still eats hay but I am sure without the pelleted feed he'd be losing ground.

TxHorseMom 07-27-2008 09:40 AM

I have a 30 y/o TB and what I found that works WONDERFUL is probiotics. I give him a supplement called Focus SR by Source. Last year we had a tough time keeping weight on him. By the spring of this year, we were considering putting him down because I didn't want him to suffer by starving to death. Someone told me about the Focus SR and it has put on probably 200 lbs on him! He looks great now! Full of energy.

What the probiotics does is it is microorganisms that help the gut to absorb more of the nutrients from the food that you are giving them. The reason I like the Focus SR is because it is formulated specifically for Senior horses (hence the SR) I have a couple of my oldies on it and it really works. (no, I'm not a salesman for the stuff. lol!)

I also agree with all of the other previous posts. UTD on wormings (some do better on a daily wormer) wet down the food. Give alfalfa pellets or cubes (wet down) Although its difficult, I have one especially hard keeper on 3-4 feedings a day. She just can't eat all of the calories at one feeding. A vet appt is definately in order. Good luck and keep us posted.

jazzyrider 07-27-2008 11:00 PM

i agree that his teeth could be a huge contributing factor. i have an old horse too but fortunately his teeth are great. if you are having trouble keeping the weight on i would suggest switching him over to something like i feed my old fella. he doesnt have a problem eating but i have him on a higher 'fat' intake because he is old. he gets rice bran, senior pellets and copra (coconut meal). i soak all that in water so it makes every mushy and then add it to a sizeable portion of lucerne chaffe. someone else i know uses the same recipe as me now but her horse cant have any solid really so she actually grinds the pellets up so they soak up more water and the whole dinner is like a mash then.

also, add a complete supplement to the diet to make up for what she may be missing out on by not being able to eat as much hay etc i also add mollasses, fresh garlic and apple cider vinegar to their feeds to keep them looking nice too :)

Cat 07-27-2008 11:15 PM

The overweight one does sound like thyroid or cushings disease and you will only know for sure is if the vet comes out and tests for it.

The skinny one could have several issues - including teeth and ulcers. The first thing I would do is get her on a senior feed - and work her up to the amount the bag says to feed. Watch her eat the pellets, if she is dropping a lot or seeming to have problems chewing them - soak the pellets into a mush so that she can eat them. A good senior feed will have all of the nutrients, calories, and fiber an older horse will need if fed as directed so you don't need extra beet pulp or supplements. I personally like the nurtrena life stages senior, but most senior feeds would work.

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